Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here... highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
Close your eyes and envision the perfect complement to 21-year-old Red Sox phenom Xander Bogaerts.
Ideally Player X would be a veteran left-handed-hitting shortstop on a short-term contract who could help Bogaerts ease into the position, perhaps even in a platoon, with Bogaerts shifting to third against righties.
If this veteran is capable of playing full-time, even better. That would provide the Red Sox insurance on two fronts: against Bogaerts not being ready for prime time defensively, and from another disastrous season out of third baseman Will Middlebrooks. If worse comes to worst, Bogaerts is your everyday third baseman, and his veteran counterpart mans shortstop. If Bogaerts and Middlebrooks soar, the veteran becomes trade bait.
Now open your eyes. The player we’re describing resembles someone familiar. Someone named Stephen Drew.
And when you consider his offense during the regular season — he ranked fifth among full-time shortstops in OPS (.777), despite needing a month to shake off the effects of a concussion — he’s a far better player than many will grant.
Our last taste of Stephen Drew was his abysmal postseason. .111 average. .344 OPS. 2 extra base hits in 54 at-bats. Like I said: abysmal.
Prior to that, he was a steady, dependable presence at short. He even stayed healthy once he recovered from his concussion. If you were to draw up the best-case 2013 scenario for Stephen Drew, he lived it. Then the postseason happened. He struggled, Xander thrived, and everyone was ready to turn the page on ever having a Drew suit up for Boston again.
But not so fast....
Despite what Boras will tell you, the market for Drew is virtually non-existent. Especially where multi-year deals are concerned. As Tomase points out in the above article, whichever non-Boston team signs Drew will have to surrender a draft pick, along with its bonus allotment. It's a hefty price to pay for someone like Drew. And the teams that are in need of a short stop aren't teams that will want to make that big of investment on someone who's probably a 2 year solution.
So if Drew is staring down a one-year deal simply based on lack of options, it does make sense for Boston to get back to the negotiation table. Whether it makes sense for Drew to platoon for a season in hopes of getting a multi-year deal the following offseason is an entirely different story.
Rest of the links:
SB Nation - Rays, Red Sox showing interest in Luis Ayala